Happy Monday everyone! I’m excited to share the workspace and a little background into the oh-so talented, Shauna Haider of Nubby Twiglet. I had the pleasure of meeting Shauna this past September at Design Life — this girl has a killer design style and fashion style! Just check it out in her studio! Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself as a creative.
I’m Shauna Haider, a graphic designer and blogger residing in Portland, Oregon. My blog and design studio are both called Nubby Twiglet, which was created by merging two of my nicknames back in high school (I had a serious love of mod icon Twiggy). I’ve been blogging since 2001 and designing professionally since 2007 and do both in some capacity every single day — my life would feel incredibly empty without the two! I am also the co-founder of The Blogcademy, a strategy-based blogging workshop.
Describe your creative journey.
When I was young, I always imagined growing up and being an artist. I pursued art throughout high school, taking every class that was offered at least twice except, ironically, graphic design. Art was my passion but when I toured my top choice for art schools before graduation, an advisor flipped through my portfolio of collages and minimal layouts and told me I needed to include more drawing and painting. Looking back, he should have told me to enroll in design instead! I was having second thoughts about art anyway because truth be told, I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d make a living and being a starving artist didn’t seem very enticing!
Onwards I went, earning a business degree with a minor in marketing. The marketing classes were by far my favorite part but when I finally finished that degree, I felt incredibly unfulfilled. Something just seemed off. The thought of spending the rest of my life inside corporate America just felt like the wrong fit. I sat out a year, worked full-time at a shoe store and went back to the drawing board.
I’d finally become immersed in graphic design and scoured every portfolio, book and blog I could get my hands on during that year off. I was obsessed. In the Fall of 2006, I enrolled in a two-year design program at a community college partly to avoid a ton of debt and partly because I wanted to finish up quickly and get on my way with my career.
I was lucky that things happened fast. I was extremely focused and driven and by my second semester, I was designing album art for Virgin Records and by the beginning of my second year, I was interning for one of the best-known design studios in town. I never looked back. A week after graduating, I had my first full time job and shortly after that, I designed the logo and layout of the first Forever 21 blog.
It may have looked easy from the outside but I’d been blogging regularly since 2001 and by 2007, I was putting fresh content up on Nubbytwiglet.com five days a week, even if that meant getting up at 6 am. I never took a day off from working on design or blog content and I was fearless about putting my work out there, even if it makes me cringe now! Because I only had a two-year degree, I knew I’d have to work a lot harder than a lot of my peers to fill in my gaps of knowledge and get to their level of expertise. I remember how daunting it all felt.
Since then, I’ve been lucky to work on projects and campaigns both big and small. I’ve designed look books for Nike, worked on the NBA All-Star game with Adidas and created more identities, websites and catalogs than I can keep track of. For the first five years of my career, I felt that it was necessary to get my feet wet in a variety of design areas and to learn as much about print, digital and production methods as I possibly could.
In 2013 though, I’m looking forward to refining my focus to doing what I love most: developing brand platforms for small to medium-sized businesses and diving further into everything digital. At the moment, I’m working with a variety of photographers and cosmetics start-ups and it’s been incredibly fulfilling partnering with clients that require a nice balance between strategy and style.
Share a little bit about your space.
I’ve always been someone that doesn’t draw a line between who I am as a person, my design work and my surroundings. Each is a piece forming a much bigger puzzle. That’s part of the reason I started a blog — I’m defined by much more than just my design work and wanted to share insights and inspiration with the world. My space is where I spend my time creating all my design and blog content.
My office is inside of my house which has a Bavarian theme and was built in 1928. It’s centrally located in Portland, gets a ton of natural light and it’s that one space I can go to, close the door, create and get away from the world.
I’ve had many offices over the years so this is a culmination of items I’ve collected for the last decade. My round Magnavox TV and alarm clock were from Target circa 2002 and the TV is so old it needs a converter box but I can’t bear to get rid of it! My long desk is from IKEA and gives me plenty of room to spread out and sketch, read magazines and research. I love collecting design books and I like having my personal library next to me — sometimes I just need to get off the internet! Directly behind my desk are two IKEA flat files which store anything and everything: process books, client proofs, design samples, office supplies, magazine tears and more.
When I’m working, I usually turn on the TV for background noise or flip through Spotify for some new music recommendations.
What’s your favorite thing about your space?
Natural light! I like knowing that the world is right outside of my window.
What’s one thing you think every creative needs in their space?
Inspiration. I’m such a visual person and having everything from my favorite shoes to a stack of the latest fashion magazines to magnetic board I can put up my latest finds on is incredibly important. Being surrounded by all of my favorite things makes me feel energized and inspired to create.